Just 4 Sydney-side Hartnells

Just 4 Sydney-side Hartnells

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scarred Tree & back in Sydney

I just want to wrap up our Christmas vacation and wanted to include a few photos around the harbor too. Cam saw see this scarred tree years ago near the farm, but hasn't been back since. Aboriginals would cut the bark off and in the process leave marks on the wood. The tree repairs itself as the remaining bark curls.

We drove back to Sydney and the next AM before flying out we hung around with Lachlan. We went on a walk around the harbor, which was quite beautiful. Loved the views and the fact that everyone we saw were local Sydneysiders.

Lachlan snapped this shot of us in the middle of the walk. We had a great time, chatting, exploring, and just taking our time. A very relaxed ending to an even more relaxing holiday.

Little light houses dot the harbor to help with navigation. If you check out Sydney's harbor on google, you'll notice how many bits and pieces stick out making navigation difficult.

This has caught me up in time. Upcoming posts will be closer to where we are in time right now. Till then!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Random 2012 Adelaidian Bits

 In reviewing photos from last year, I noticed I never posted anything about the Adelaide Show. We spent one evening at the show this year, and did the "yellow brick road" show bag. That translated into us carrying lots of SA produce back home on our bikes. I think my favorite part of the show were the skilled items inside. BONSAI!

The show was back in September of 2012, and this tasty ginger-bread house really reminded me of home, especially my Bro.

 We closed the show by watching the motor cross bicycle tricksters. In this shot, there are 3 bikes in the air as blurs flipping upside down. It was the finale.
 We also managed to go see the "big gum tree" that is infamous in Glenelg (the suburb to our west). This tree was originally bent, but is now dead. They have pinned it in place & put the cover over it to help protect it. Under this tree, South Australia was first proclaimed as a colony in 1836 by members of SA's first fleet. I'm glad it continues to be acknowledged.

Mogo Zoo

The girls, Cam, Steve, and I went to Mogo Zoo, a short drive from the farm. I've passed this zoo a bunch of times, but we never could visit. I'm so glad we did! It is the breeding ground for Australia's tigers and lions! There are over a dozen of just those animals, hanging out in these really large enclosures. It may be hard to see in this shot, but just to the right of Steve is a HUGE lion facing us. Check out the next photo, you can see him up close.

Someone paid a bunch of $ to hand feed the lion. The rest of us just watched from the other side of another fence. Check out how close we were! It was really crazy. The mane was absolutely beautiful and so full (I completely had hair envy). Overall, they must be very well fed because he didn't seem famished.

Speaking of feeding, we gave some grub to the deer. They also seemed very well fed, but all by the public. They could eat & eat & eat, but they didn't look too fat. I guess its all the hot Aussie sun that they sweat it all out.

The best part about this zoo was its size: really big spaces for groups of animals. Smaller enclosures for all the little stuff (lemurs, small monkeys, lizards, snakes, etc) too. We had a great morning!

NSW Baby Shower

As most of you know, I'm preggers (about 34 wks so 6 more left) & the Sydney fam surprised me with a baby shower over the Christmas festivities. Fun-filled activities were enjoyed by the entire family. We played baby related charades. Here's a shot of Tony, but I can't remember his word.

Then is the final addition to pin a swimmy on the fallopian tube. I got to put on the egg and whoever had put the closest swimmy to my egg won. I thought the pink cut-out really just looked like a cow head.

We played other games including carve up photos of C & my face to create what our baby would look like. These were excellent because everyone grabbed their scissors and tape or glue sticks and went to work. So low-tech that you could excuse how they really looked freaky.

Presents abounded, so many so that we couldn't bring them all back to Adelaide. There were some really cute outfits, some toys, a few digital devices and in general lots of love. THANKS FAM!

Because there was so much baby talk, the girls found a stroller in the office and decided that Harry the dog was pretty close in size to a baby. Since he couldn't fight too much, they put him in & pushed him around the grass. Harry was very patient!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

The AM started off the Aussie way: fruit salad prepared by Marg. Her abilities were only matched by the freshness of the mangoes, strawberries and my favorite blueberries.

 Here is a surprise...we opened presents on Christmas! The girls opened their stockings at the crack of dawn giving the rest of us an opportunity to open our presents at a reasonable 8ish hour. Nola, Geoff & Marg really had a good laugh over this one.

 We gave Michelle a photo of her from her visit to Adelaide and the markets. Einstein pops up everywhere.

We had a few good laughs all around including some at Tony's expense. The presents were a plenty.

The early dinner had a fabulous centerpiece and everyone being able to enjoy the delicious food and family.

Finally what Christmas would be complete without the reading of Ed's A Tale of Christmas WO. He originally wrote it for MaryEd and her siblings. Now its being enjoyed by even another generation.

Animals around Christmas

 Over our break last year, we spent a bit of time at the local dairy. At Bodalla, NSW we hung with little lambs, lammas, and calves. We even got to feed them a little.

 I found it a bit weird to be feeding milk to the cows, but hey, I've never lived or worked on a farm before. I guess it makes sense. They seem like they would keep drinking and drinking and drinking.
 I loved how she was exactly the same height, but wasn't really that afraid. Her little sister was a bit more shy.

They had teeth but more gummed your hand rather than bit you hard. It was a bit slimy, but well worth the feel of the fuzz around their faces. So absolutely soft.

We went to the tie dye shop & I got a wicked cool dress. Here the ladies are peaking through a few towels.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas Vacation at the Farm

 While at the farm, one decides to do the most relaxing of activities. You decide whether to take a nap, take a walk, eat something else, go to the beach or to puzzle. I love working on puzzles, and begun this one. We let Lilly put in the final piece because she helped with it.

We played pool one night, which was pretty fun. I did OK, but got frustrated just because so much green to cover. I love Em's face in this photo!!! She couldn't bear to watch me try to hit in the eight ball again.

There's even tennis courts, and hitting a few balls back and forth can pass the time whether night or day. Here Cam has left the court, leaving Steve to fend for himself against Michelle. Her serves were mean, her backhand was meaner and I was personally glad that I was watching and not playing.
Like I said, we frequently went to the beach. Steve's girls particularly loved it and it helped them to spend energy and get some fresh air. This day was rather windy, I was there with a long-sleeved shirt and Cam used a towel to wrap himself in for the parts where he wasn't chasing one of the kids. Sand got in the lens for this shot, but it was worth it.

I loved being buried in the sand, and the girls even went as far as to decorate their mermaid tail. Notice the bling at the bottom?
All of the above activities were within walking distance of where we woke up each morning, but occasionally we took a short road trip. In Batemans Bay, we played put-put at a golf course that I've past about a dozen times, but never had the opportunity to stop. It was good fun, although I never had a hole-in-one personally.

Semaphore Greek Fest & Gum Tree

Cam and I went to Semaphore, a suburb to the north in Adelaide for a Greek festival. We parked near the 1880 water tower, seen below. He was practicing architectural terms in preparation for his upcoming class.

The Greeks had a BBQ that included corn on the cob, lamb, chicken, and various other meats. Cam was excited at all the lamb. Check out a volunteer putting on another spit.
We also got a bunch of "honey balls" that were fried dough smothered in honey & cinnamon. Sticky but yummy!

Here's a shot of me at the festival with the stage in the background. We listened to a few songs and watched some kids dancing. It was pretty good fun, especially because we had been out on a hike during the day. Neither of us had to cook, which was fantastic.
One day recently, we finally made it to the "old gum tree" near-by our place in Glenelg. This tree was a bent gum under which the earliest settlers declared SA a colony of Britain in 1836. Its not alive any more, but it is pretty cool that they've built a shelter over it to mimic its curve.
Next posts will get back to Christmas I think!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year around Adelaide

I'm a bit behind on the blog, but alas the New Year is here & more updates & photos will be posted for your viewing pleasure. Here's a shot of my fav Christmas present from Cam:

Trust me when I say that this photo doesn't do it justice.

 We have been returning to the historic gold fields in Para Wirra, which is really, really dry. You can see where the water in this dam normally is so deep that you barely see the large tree in the green slime. We have been at the park when the wall is completely buried under water. The dam is huge, but dry right now because it is summer. Temps have been in the 100s.

Cam is standing on this small foundation that we found next to a path this weekend. Its great to get out in the fresh air & have a walk. This will be it until well after "McGurk" can travel a bit easier into the field.

Finally wanted to post this shot of Cam, McGurky Bubbles and me. We got McGury Bubbles as a wedding shower gift over Christmas. More on that to come.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New South Wales Christmas

 Cam & I headed to Sydney to hang out with his family for Christmas. We had such a relaxing time, it was amazing...loosing track of what day it was, what time it was, and not having to be anywhere. I completely forgot about work, as did everyone. We began the trip with a walk along the harbor, just C, me & MacGurkey (check out the bump in my belly, don't worry, there will be closer photos).

 After lunch with Cam's mom, MaryEd, we headed to Bowral to visit Nick and Cam's cousins. Here's Amelia feeding their new pet lamb.

 I wanted to go to the park with them, so we mounted up on scooters & took a picnic. It was a fair walk and we were gone for 1.5 hrs. Just enough time for a Christmas delivery and Prue to wrap some presents at home. Here's the gang on the way there.

 Some of my favorite childhood games involve lots of imagination and can easily be adapted for different age groups. I introduced "statues" where a shopkeeper tries to sell to one player a variety of statues that come to life when touched. It can be very comical, depending on the shopkeeper and the statues. Roles rotate as statues are purchased. Only challenge: 5 player minimum.

We stopped overnight in Bowral and had a wonderful evening and next day with the family. Then we drove on down to the farm where we spent the majority of Christmas. Next post will be a lead up to Santa. Stayed tuned & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Speaking of the new year, C & I spent ours putting together a photo book of our honeymoon. We know how to rock the night/year away!